Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kate & Richard–10/28/2011


I know I haven’t been around much lately.

But I’ll be back when things settle down a bit.

This weekend I’m celebrating* the beginning of my dear friend Kate’s ‘Happily Ever After’ with her soon-to-be husband, Richard.

It’s been quite the journey for them and I can’t think of two people more deserving of a super-special day.

Congratulations Kate & Richard!!!


*cross your fingers that me and my 3.5 inch bridesmaid-issued heels make it down the staircase upright.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Avocado Margarita


I know when I got back from my vacation in August I did a few recaps. One thing I can’t believe I haven’t shared is this incredible drink I had at the bar within the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.


Mexico has always been my favorite “country” to visit in Epcot. I love how it looks like a street fair at night inside.



And now I love it even more because it has a bar inside, “La Cava del Tequila – De San Angel Inn”.



The menu includes a vast selection of premium tequilas which I did not partake in as me + straight tequila = goodbye lunch. Lucky for me though, it includes a huge selection of margaritas. My choice: the avocado margarita.


I cannot sing high enough praises of this drink. It was so good that we came back for a second round of drinks later in the day and ordered 3 more to go (got to love Disney for that!)


My plan has been to recreate this drink but I haven’t taken a stab at it yet. I will definitely let you know when I do. For now, I’m reminiscing of *warm* memories to shake the chill of this cold, rainy Boston evening.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin and Peet’s


I know, I know. Everyone has probably had enough with the pumpkin recipes and so I’m not going to give you another one. I made a batch of vegan pumpkin pancakes last weekend. You can probably find the recipe if you google and the only reason I made them “vegan” is because I didn’t have eggs. I also didn’t have syrup so what you see on top is coconut cream made by mixing coconut flour with almond milk. A fantastic combination if I do say so myself.


The reason behind my showing you these pancakes I’m not giving the recipe for is to tell you about the coffee I received from Peet’s Coffee as a member of Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker Program. Peet’s sent me two bags of their new medium roast coffees to try – Café Domingo and Café Solano. I tried the Café Domingo which is a blend of Central and South American coffees that is smooth, balanced and medium-bodied with more pure coffee taste. Peet’s coffee experts describe it as a medium roast cup with hints of toffee sweetness and clean crisp finish.


For someone who doesn’t typically love non-flavored coffee, I thought this was great (and I mean it)! I added just a splash of half-half and some sweetener and paired it up with the pumpkin pancakes. I feel that pairing this with a fall-flavored dish was a great choice because the coffee truly is smooth and therefore went great with pancakes packed full of spice like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.


Peet’s also sent me a bunch of $2 off coupons (their coffee is now available in grocery stores) so if you are interested in some coupons let me know and I’ll send some off to you.

*I received the Peet’s Coffee at no cost as part of my participation in Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker program. The opinions expressed are solely mine and I’d tell you if I didn’t really like the stuff, promise.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Faux Fall

Through my participation in Foodbuzz's Tastemaker Program, I received this Tervis Tumbler at no cost. Though I’ll admit the first beverage it held was Atwater's Vanilla Java Porter, the next was this Pumpkin-Banana-Coconut Smoothie I made for breakfast yesterday.


I’m not usually a smoothie-for-breakfast kind of girl but the warm weather inspired me so I popped open one of my coveted cans of pumpkin and whipped one up. It hit the spot – refreshing yet filling and deliciously reminiscent of pumpkin pie but with a twist.

Pumpkin-Banana-Coconut Smoothie

serves 1

  • 1 c milk (I used combination of unsweetened almond and skim)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 T shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 2 packets stevia sweetener (or sugar… or you can omit all together for a less sweet drink)
  • cinnamon, for topping

Add all ingredients to Magic Bullet tall cup and blend until smooth (or use blender/food processor/whatever you have) top with cinnamon.



I am loving this tumbler. It seems to keep my drinks nice and cold. It will be getting lots of use – and I’ll let you know when I try a hot drink in it!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Stuff and Things

1. Fall came, finally, and I got a cold.


(Side note: using this photo effect really highlights the fact that my eyes are two different sizes)

2. Fall doesn’t appear to be here to stay, yet.


3.  It’s the month of my birth, I’m turning 21. Thanks, I know I don’t look a day over 18.


Winking smile

4. I did some serious pumpkin hoarding last year so I’ll apologize now but there may be just a few hundred pumpkin recipes this month.

5. Mary Lou’s Pumpkin Spice is Back


What am I talking about? Well if you don’t know Mary Lou’s then the excitement of this will mean nothing to you. But if you live in Massachusetts’ South Shore, South Eastern MA, Cape Cod or Northern RI, you know Mary Lou’s. And their seasonal delight is back. Beats Dunkin’s, hands down, in my opinion.

6. It’s already midterms for me… crazy, right? I feel like the semester just started… or trimester rather, my school goes year around. I just have to keep plugging away for another month and a half and I have December off from school!

7. One more work day and then it’s a long weekend… hooray for that.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Truro Vineyards


On the Saturday of my friend's bachelorette weekend we went to Truro Vineyards for a tour and tasting.



It was a gorgeous late summer/early fall day and the vineyard was packed. We couldn’t hear the tour guide very well but we enjoyed checking out the rows of grapes.


The tour was short and sweet (and free!) and soon we were off to the tasting!


The tasting was located under this pavilion and a few of the vineyard employees came around with the different varietals for tasters to try.  This is how their tasting works: you pay $8 for a glass and tasting (includes 5 1-ounce pours), you select from the a list they give you which 5 wines you’d like to try starting from most simple to most complex. It’s a great idea in theory but it took forever for the group before us to clear out… especially since there were only two people pouring wine for everyone under this pavilion plus about an additional 6 tables.


I ended up changing some of my choices as the tasting went on. It helped that there were so many of us in our group so we could share tastes and therefore try more (the employees leading the tasting actually suggested this method).


After the tasting we took to the gift shop to pick up some wine and check out the other goods.




We really enjoyed ourselves and it was a great activity to do with a group of people. I’d recommend stopping in for a tour and tasting if you are ever down that way!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Coconut Flour Waffles with Caramelized Banana and Toasted Pecans


I’m kind of struggling with this “season change” thing. As in, I don’t believe it’s ever going to happen. You know I’m a summer girl through and through but just like I refuse to turn the heat on until it gets really cold, I typically refuse to run the AC beyond mid-September. Things have changed. I’ve run the AC almost every night this week so I can sleep comfortably.


All complaints aside, this breakfast feels like the perfect transition from light summer breakfasts to heavier winter ones. And it uses one of my newest loves, coconut flour. I picked up a bag on sale at Whole Foods last week and as it turns out, it can be used to make a delightful waffle.

Coconut Flour Waffle with Caramelized Banana and Toasted Pecans

serves 1 or 2 for a lighter meal


  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 4 eggs (I used 4 ‘eggs’ worth of Ener-g Egg Replacer)
  • 1/3 unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 2 packets Stevia (or you can use sugar… this is optional)
  • 1/2 t coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 t coconut oil
  • 1/8 c whole pecans
  • 1 T shredded unsweetened coconut (optional – for topping)

In a bowl, blend all ingredients up to coconut extract.  I used a hand-mixer to ensure thorough mixing but I’m sure it can be done my hand with a whisk.

Preheat waffle iron.

Drop about 1/2 of the batter mixture in the center of the waffle maker and close lid. This batter is thicker than traditional waffle batter so don’t be alarmed that it won’t spread in the waffle maker like you’d expect.

Waffle is done when it can easily separate from the waffle iron. Mine took about 4 minutes in a Belgian waffle iron.

In another small pan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the banana (I just chunked mine up) and stir gently until they begin to caramelize. Add pecans and allow them to toast a bit and warm with the bananas.

Serve the banana-pecan mixture on top the waffles and garnish with shredded coconut if desired.


Don’t forget to serve your waffles alongside a big glass of Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee. When you’re done, push your plate aside, wipe the sweat from your brow and put on your bathing suit to go finish the chores.